The Scout: Previewing Mavs At Jazz

For a Scout's Eye view on the habits, strengths, weaknesses and how-to's on beating the Jazz - the Mavs' challenge tonight in Utah - here's the breakdown from NBA scout Kyle Leath:

Second night of a b2b against a rejuventated Jazz team that is 7-1 at home ... It's the Dallas Mavericks at Utah, a 9:30 p.m. tip ...

JAZZ 9-4 MAVS 8-7

F- Gordon Hayward F- Shawn Marion

F- Paul Millsap F- Dirk Nowitzki

C- Al Jefferson C- Brendan Haywood

G- Raja Bell G- Delonte West

G- Devin Harris G- Jason Kidd

Jazz on Defense:

• Solid man-to-man and play ball and off-ball screens well. Do not give up many cheap looks.

• Will funnel the ball to big men on drives.

• Quick hands on perimeter, like to slap at ball to cause turnover.

• Good transition defense.


• They look to run first. Hayward, Bell and Millsap get out and go and Devin Harris will push and penetrate or kick. Jefferson good in the trail position as well. You know what Devin can do. Here's Devin and Millsap together:

• When they don't score on primary break, their secondary break and early offense is efficient at getting Millsap and Jefferson to the block. Both can play with back to basket as well as step off the lane and catch/face and put ball on floor.

• Primary half-court set is a 1-4 with UCLA cut by PG and then a number of options for the wings and ending with a post up/iso opportunity for 4/5.

• Not a great perimeter team, get a lot of points in paint.

• Harris will stop and pop in transition, so have to be able to play drive as well as pull up

• 4th best bench in the league at just under 40 points, however Josh Howard and Derrick Favors are nursing injuries and did not play vs. LAC. CJ Miles best healthy scorer off bench at 8.6

Stat Check:

• Jazz are 25th in 3pt FG% at .285.

• Jazz are 2nd in blocks at 6.6 bpg. Here's a great compilation of Utah blocks, showing in part what a team-wide effort it is:

• Typical Jazz, right in the middle of most stats team-wise and no individuals among the leaders.

• Dallas now 3rd in Opponents Scoring at 88.5 ppg.

• Dallas 2nd in steals at 10.4 spg with Kidd ranking 4th at 2.3/gm.

How to Beat The Jazz:

• Defensive Transition – Biggest key in this one. Must stop them from getting out and getting easy baskets.

• Bench – Must use depth both offensively and defensively to match their bench. (Not a Mavs accomplishment from the loss at the Clippers.) Make ALL of the Jazz play defense and use energy at that end of the floor.

• Find Mismatch – Go to Dirk Nowitzki early. Look for Odom. Get both untracked with mismatches that will be available.

Kyle Leath, a long-time Mavs staffer, former college head coach and now scout for the Denver Nuggets, provides you with an NBA-style scouting report before Mavs games.

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